Thursday, March 26, 2009

GASP!: 90 Seconds From Doom

Something about this fear piece sounds vaguely familiar. I think I’ve read similar things in past articles on nuclear annihilation, the Y2K computer bug, the ozone hole, and yes…global warming. The point is that the American media has been filling our hearts and minds with fear, not just for a few years but for decades and decades. Fear sells…it gets people to read and consume the news of the day.

But it’s really, really dumb. I’m not saying that solar weather isn’t potentially harmful to our electrical grid, but to imply that millions of Americans will be dead as a result is just plain stupid. Give me a break. I hate these predictions of doom, which are unrelenting…and unscientific.

Who’s behind it? NASA, of course, (Dr. Hansen’s employer) which is a division of our government trying to find new avenues to remain relevant, given the state of space travel these days.

More fear to be had in the GASP! series and warmlist.

Space storm alert: 90 seconds from catastrophe

IT IS midnight on 22 September 2012 and the skies above Manhattan are filled with a flickering curtain of colourful light. Few New Yorkers have seen the aurora this far south but their fascination is short-lived. Within a few seconds, electric bulbs dim and flicker, then become unusually bright for a fleeting moment. Then all the lights in the state go out. Within 90 seconds, the entire eastern half of the US is without power.

A year later and millions of Americans are dead and the nation's infrastructure lies in tatters. The World Bank declares America a developing nation. Europe, Scandinavia, China and Japan are also struggling to recover from the same fateful event - a violent storm, 150 million kilometres away on the surface of the sun.

It sounds ridiculous. Surely the sun couldn't create so profound a disaster on Earth. Yet an extraordinary report funded by NASA and issued by the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in January this year claims it could do just that.

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